By Samuel Whyte
The Berbice Volleyball Association (BVA) had a good year in 2013, and this is despite several constraints and challenges, the main humbug being the unpredictable weather. Despite the few setbacks the association whose motto is -”Committed to developing and promoting Volleyball in Berbice” was able to successfully complete seventy percent (70%) of its planned programme of activities.
Their main spur was in response to the call made by the President of the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) Lenny Shuffler, to promote the development of the game through activity.
A look at the year of activities will show that- in January the year began in earnest with the hosting of Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) which was held at the Albion Sports Complex.
In February the BVA held an Inter Secondary School Mashramani Volleyball Competition for Schools in the N/A-Canje, Lower Corentyne Area at the BHS Court. Also in February the New Amsterdam Rotary Club’s Fun Day Volleyball Competition was held at the Rose Hall Estate Community Centre.
In March an open competition sponsored by Kris Jagdeo Construction was held at the Albion Community Centre. In April the Tropical Rhythms/Ansa McAl, 2 verses 2 Beach Volleyball Competition was played at the No63 Beach. While a “B” class competition for teams in Berbice was also held in the same month at the Eaglets Volleyball Court in Reliance, East Canje. June month saw the playing off of the annual Trophy Stall Open Competition at the PMTC Court.
In August, President Donald Ramotar was in attendance for the annual Rick Sakawat Memorial Volleyball Trophy Competition, which was played at the PMTC Court. The first Mini-Volleyball Festival for Primary and Secondary Schools in the Lower Corentyne Area was held in September at the Area H ground.
October was the month for the playing off of the Dalip Budhram Memorial Competition at the PMTC Court. Two competitions were held in November – The first, Rollers Old Boys Lien Trophy Competition at the Skeldon Community Centre, followed by the Shamshad Bagan Chattergoon Memorial Trophy Competition at the PMTC Court.
The year ended with the successful staging of the Third annual Balram Shane Memorial Competition at the Albion Sports Complex Court.
Apart from the above mentioned activities. Participation was also seen in a number of associated activities including: – The GVF President’s Birthday Volleyball Festival held at the National Gymnasium in February. The Dorsett Family Fun Day Volleyball Competition held at the No53 Sports Complex Corentyne in March. The Calypso Hut Volleyball Competition held at Friendship, Corentyne in April. The Grassroots Beach Volleyball Coaching Course, organized by the GVF in collaboration with the CSV and FIVB in June at Carifesta Avenue in Georgetown.
September saw the participation of the Red Bull Beach Volleyball Tournament held in Torarica, Paramaribo in Suriname, while in November participation was at the International Invitational Volleyball Festival hosted by the GVF at the National Gymnasium in Georgetown.
The association also received assistance during the year including Tachikara antennas, Mikasa Beach Volleyballs and Nets, Mikasa MVA 330 Balls and Mikasa Kids balls.
The association also donated Mikasa volleyballs, FIVB Development nets, awards and other materials to several organizations and individuals including volunteers, schools, clubs including some new ones, the Moruca Primary School of Region one. Former national captain Levi Nedd continues to be the National coach and he received a coach’s strategy board.
Among some of the highlights of the Association were the many competitions successfully held, the introduction of Mini-Volley in Schools, the return of competitive Volleyball to Skeldon, the excellent performance of PMTC players in Beach Volleyball in Suriname and the good showing of Guyana’s top team (PMTC) at the International Invitational Festival hosted by the GVF in November were some standouts for the BVA.
During the year, top player Quacy Matheson created history in May by being the first Guyanese to receive an ID Number from FIVB. He received a FIVB Id No142451 to play for a Trinidad Club team in an International Club Tournament organized by CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association.
Matheson was also awarded by the Berbice Chambers of Commerce and Development Association for being the Sports Personality of the Year 2012.
Despite the success some disappoints were also highlighted, including the weather which caused the cancellation or postponement of some programmes. Others included the cancellation of the U19 competition in May and the Caricom Fun Day, which was due to lack of communication between the association’s co-coordinator and the Department of Education, and the persons appointed to overlook the activity. Others that did not materialise include the – “Teach them Young” Programme in collaboration with the Region six MCYS, the N/A Town Day Competition, the BVA Awards Ceremony. While the Region five Mini-Volley Festival for Schools in the Ithaca to Bush Lot area and the Black Bush Outreach were postponed to early this year.
Some other disappointments included –the holding of no fund raising activities, no progress with the Esplanade Park Beach Volleyball Court Project and not much was achieved with the school, female and referees/scorers developmental programmes.
The call is still being made for persons to attend meetings more often. Clubs are also being encouraged to participate in a League Competition while players and clubs are encouraged to pay respect to punctuality.
The executive plans to meet early during this year to – draft strategic long and short term plans for the sport in Berbice, draft a project proposal for the Beach Volleyball Court Project, Register the BVA as a Non-Profit Organization and secure a Bank Account at a reputable bank. The will also formulate a fines structure for clubs failing to attend meetings and other breaches, secure the services of a professional to do a plan for an indoor facility of international standard, plan at least 12 competitions and four fund raising events for the year.
Establish BVA squads, both male and female at all the various age groups including U19, U20, U23 and veteran categories, make plans to facilitate outreaches to various outlying areas throughout Berbice and plan for a “Big Brother’ Outreach to Essequibo Coast and appoint coaches to assist Schools.
The call is made for the construction of proper indoor facilities that confirm to FIVB’s International standards. It was noted that proper indoor facilities for Volleyball exist throughout all of the neighbouring countries. However in Guyana, it seems the government is not inclined to build such as they do not see Sport Halls as priorities for human development.
Clubs are also to upgrade their grass or concrete courts to sand courts and promote 2 verses 2 beach volleyball competitions in an effort to develop individual skills and lift their standard of play. All those associated with the game are urged to “Keep the Ball Flying” and try to “Go beyond the Limits.”
The association took the opportunity to thank all those who assisted in helping with the success of the BVA during the year including both local and overseas. Special mention is made of the Management & Staff of DTV-8, Mr. Ramesh Sunich of Trophy Stall, the Managers Executive and Members of Albion, Skeldon and Rose Hall Estates and Community Centers, the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Education and all the schools in Berbice, Ansa McAl Company, Mr. D. Balram of Balram Shane General Store, the Rotary Club of New Amsterdam, Guysuco Apprentice Training Centre, Members of the US Peace Corps, Members of the RHTY and SC, Mr. Alex Foster of the SFCD, FFP Guyana Incorporated, the Priest and Parishioners of All Saints Anglican Church, the various media houses in Guyana and the President of the GVF, Mr. Lenox Shuffler among others.
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